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Off-duty Cleveland Police officer shoots suspect at West 117th Giant Eagle

Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 9:22 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 2, 2021 at 11:28 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - According to Cleveland Police, one of their officers working a side job in security shot a suspect outside the Giant Eagle grocery store located on West 117th Monday night.

A witness at the scene was visibly shaken as he remembered what he’d seen.

“I was ready to pull out and then I heard it. Then looked to my right, and I saw the man fall down that was shot and police officer right behind him,” said Mike Stein, who had just gotten into his car outside the grocery store after shopping. “My first thought is that these were fireworks, but I realized that it was not fireworks right away.”

Michael Butler, Commander for First District for Cleveland Police, said, “There was a verbal altercation between two males that were exciting the store. At one time a citizen came in and told the off-duty officer that one of the males had a firearm. The officer came outside to investigate. During that investigation the male did show a weapon. There was indeed a shooting. The male was conveyed to a local hospital where he’s being treated. We did recover a handgun on-scene during this preliminary investigation.”

Jeff Follmer, the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association President says the officer involved was a 20 year veteran of the force. “The male at which took off running at him (the officer) and produced a gun. The officer felt his life was threatened. He fired a couple rounds striking the male.”

19 News crews spotted a handgun on the ground marked as evidence by crime scene investigators; police said it belonged to the suspect. Witnesses and police say it’s unclear if the suspect actually fired a gun.

The officer was not injured.

The suspect, who Cleveland Police said is a 21 year old man, was shot in the hip and taken to MetroHealth Medical Center for treatment. Police said he is expected to survive his injuries.

In a statement a spokesperson for Giant Eagle said:

“We are working closely with Cleveland Police to provide as much information as possible regarding the shooting that took place in the parking lot of our West 117th Street Giant Eagle this evening. The Giant Eagle closed shortly after the incident occurred. The store plans to reopen at 7:00 a.m. tomorrow morning.

19 New will have more details when they are made available.

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